An association of poll officials have reportedly approached West Bengal’s Chief Electoral Officer requesting for stringent measures including a house arrest, against the Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal. Mondal is the TMC’s Birbhum district chief and has been reportedly threatening polling officials to ‘conduct the poll’ in TMC’s favour.
The association of polling officials have sought CEO’s help to conduct free and fair elections. The association, in a written complaint, has reportedly said there is also information of removal of central forces in case they become too active in any booths. The polling officials want the commission to ensure that Mondal is not able to communicate and influence polling process.
Earlier this month, Mondal had appealed to the Election Commission to ‘let him rig the polls‘ and ‘allow’ his people to ‘manage 500-600 votes’ per booth. Last year in September he was caught on camera telling his party workers to frame a local BJP leader in a fake ‘ganja case’. In the video, that had gone viral on social media, the TMC leader could be seen telling party workers that if they are not able to ‘control’ her, they should get her arrested. Mondal is also seen in the video telling the party workers to get the SP on the line so he can pass on the instructions.
Anubrata, like his party leader, seems to be having little regard for the law. In 2013, he had allegedly asked his partymen to throw bombs at police personnel and burn down the houses of panchayat election candidates who are contesting against TMC. during the 2016 assembly elections in the state, he was put under 24-hour police surveillance by the election commission. In 2017, he was caught in a video threatening a police DSP that unless he starts arresting CPM leaders his men will start burning houses.
The Trinamool Congress is notoriously known for electoral violence and other illegalities on the day of the elections. Last year, TMC had won 20,000 seats uncontested in West Bengal Panchayat elections amidst the allegations that the party which fielded its candidates on all rural seats, had prevented the filing of nominations by resorting to violence. The BJP had moved the Supreme Court to interfere in the matter of its party workers not being allowed to file nominations for the Panchayat elections.
Fearing serious violence and electoral irregularities in the West Bengal, the Election Commission of India decided to hold the elections in the state in seven phases starting from April 11 to May 19. The results of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be declared on May 23